Title: Stanley Igel
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Title: Stanley Igel
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Interviewee: Stanley Igel

Interviewer: Alan Petigny

July 12, 1993


P:Let us begin from the beginning. Your name is Stanley Igel.

I:Yes, Igel it pronounces eagle. The spelling is Igel.

P:What is your middle name?


P:No middle name. Are you a junior or a chip off the old block?

Was your father Stanley as well?


P:Who were your parents and what were their names?

I:Gustav and Tony.

P:Gustav Van Tony, so you changed your name.


P:I see.

I:No, I did not change my name, there was Igel too. Gustav and

Tony Igel.

P:I see. That was your father.

I:And mother.

P:And your mother was?


P:What do they do?


P:Are they farmers?


P:When were you born?

I:October 7, 1912.

P:Where were you born?

I:In Poland.

P:Where about in Poland.

I:The area near big city Przemysl. The village was Stubienko.

P:And you were born in the village?


P:Where your parents owned a farm.


P:Did you have any brothers and sisters?

I:Yes. There was four children. The older brother was a doctor.

The sister was and I was a certified agronomist

and the youngest was too young when the war started.

P:So, you were the second from the youngest.

I:I was the third. The oldest was the brother, next was the

sister, and I was the third one.

P:What were their names?

I:Leon, Salla, Stanley, and Marty.

P:What is your earliest childhood movie?

I:Well, I will say from seven or eight years.

P:What was it?

I:Well, the memory was that I was living in a village with a

beautiful community, and we had a huge farm, several

thousand acres and the farm was working three to four

hundred people daily and the father and mother were farmers

for three generations and later on I went to public school,

went to high school, went to college.

P:Where did you go to college?

I:In Shamish.

P:What was it called?

I:It was a regular college. In Poland the system was entirely

different than here. Here you go to high school, you go to

college, in Poland you went to Gymnasium, gymnasium was

eight years. When you were ten years old you finished four

year public school and then you went into gymnasium for

eight years. From gymnasium you went straight to medical

school. To agronomist school straight, engineering school,

this was exactly like here high school and college. The

system was entirely different.

P:So, the gymnasium that you went to was a local one.

I:Shamish, the city of 65,000 people.

P:Oh the city, I see, and you studied agronomy.

I:Later, after college. After college, I went into the Polish


P:You went in as an officer, I understand.


P:Before we get to that, is it fair to say, you said your parents

owned several thousand acres?

I:A couple thousand acres.

P:Okay. They have many people working for them on the farm.


P:So it is fair to say that they were rather affluent.

I:No, they were little farmers.

P:But successful farmers?

I:Very successful farmers. Only farmers and teachers

not gentlemen farmers, only really farmers. The children,

all the children were working on the farm, many go studying

and a vacation was working on the farm together with the


P:Okay. You said that you were drafted into the Polish army.


P:Now, Poland as you know there are a lot of atrocities, that

took place during the war, but I am curious while you were

growing up as a young man, was there considerable anti-


I:Well, I will tell you what is. I will say that the semitism

was not bigger than it is in the United States or was not

bigger than a lot of countries. The only

difference was, we have 14.5% Jewish people in Poland, in

the United States we have 2.5%. We have states in the

United States that they do not know what a Jew

P:They do not, I am sorry.

I:They do not know what a Jew the states and the

United States, the Far East, they do not know, a Jewish,

what do you mean a Jewish. In Poland we have 14.5% Jewish

people. The Jewish have all of their rights in Poland.

They go to college. In our city was a supreme court, the

local state supreme court, we got seven judges,

we have officers in the army who are

Jewish, we have generals who are Jewish in the army, we have

doctors, lawyers, a matter of fact, Shamish the city got one

hundred and eighty doctors, and out of the one hundred and

eighty doctors, one hundred and ten were Jewish doctors.

P:So it is fair to say that you are proud to be Polish.

I:One hundred percent. existed up until 1939, I was

proud to be Polish. Naturally I was surprised, very poorly,

when the Communist took over Poland, you know. After a

time, the Communist took over Poland, a matter of fact I am

thankful to the Polish people, they saved my daughter,

The bishop of the city took away my child when

she was eighteen months old and this was that penalty with

the Germans to take a Jewish child. He saved her, he was

giving a birth certificate, a got quite a few

because they helped, and I am thanking a lot of Polish

people that we are alive. I saved my brother, saved my

wife, saved my brother-in-law, the only thing the Polish

people. I was proud to be a Polish officer in the army. I

never felt in the army that I was Jewish. My religion, I

was Jewish, but in the army, I was Polish.

P:That is interesting.

I:I know you hear a lot of times, you hear and I hear this

constantly, and I do not have any arguments with certain

Jewish people, they do not know. First of all, a tremendous

amount of Jewish people do not know what Poland means. They

left Europe for the United States in 1905, there was a

speaking Polish, but this was not Poland. This was

Austria, Hungary, you know, Poland was established in 1919,

and 1920, the real Polish government. They think that they

were in Poland because one hundred and fifty, two hundred

years ago this part was occupied by the Polish. In my

opinion Poland was established in 1919 and 1920. In this

time, I will say a Jew, which was interested in following

the rules and regulations of the country was treated exactly

like a Catholic

P:Like a Catholic

I:Exactly the same.

P:Now, you joined the army in 1939.

I:No, I went into the army in 1933.

P:1933, as an officer.

I:No, as a private, then I went to officer school for two years.

P:I see. What particular assignment did you have?

I:Well, I was in the army, which we were building bridges. We

were destroying mines. It was a specialty, I will say in

this way, in this unit in which I served was not too many

Jewish people. I will be sincere and honest. First of all,

this unit needed to have men, which the country, the special

army must trust as a You know, because in every

country, we have this in the United States too, we have this

in all other countries, not every citizen of the country you

can trust. We have in Poland thirty-one million people,

twenty-one million Poles, three and a half million Jews and

was seven million Ukrainian. The Ukrainian were not

trustful because they wanted their own country, like

Yugoslavia today, like in the Soviet Union, Ukrainian as a

nation. This the reason. If you were to the

country. You were following the rules and regulations and

the laws, I do not see how somebody was mistreated. As a

matter of fact, I priced very high with the Polish

government before.

P:Now, the Nazis came into Poland.


P:What year was this?


P:1939. Did you expect this to happen? Was this a surprise?

I:No. I will tell you what is. My wedding was the 27 of October

in 1939. The wedding was at six o'clock in the evening and

at eight o'clock in the evening through the wedding, I got a

notice to immediately report to the U.N. The law was in

Poland that every single officer got his uniform and his

pistol to take home. I took the bride, I went home, I

changed my uniform, I put in my pistol, and I went to the

unit. Unfortunately you know, in thirty days Poland was

defeated. I know a lot of people say what kind of country

is this to be defeated in thirty days. France was defeated

in seven days, with Napoleon. It was defeated by

the Germans in seven days. In my opinion the Poles were

heroes. They were kept in thirty days.

P:Did you see action during these thirty days?

I:Oh yes.

P:Direct battle.

I:Direct battles, as a matter of fact, 30 of August, in the night

time, they sent us to Germans.

P:Can you repeat that?

I:The 30 of August in the night time, they sent us to the German

boarder. They were expecting the Germans to start flying

over Poland and the 31, in the night our generals were

giving us orders that we need to cross the boarders into

Germany. The thirty-first in the night, we crossed the

boarders into Germany. The mean time, the Germans prepared

this special to take us in and later to give us the

They moved out around ten kilometers, you know

around five, six, seven miles. Then we went in.

P:Did you go in there?

I:Oh yes, definitely, we went with the unit, because I was in

charge of a unit of one hundred and twenty men.

.We have not found any thing, we only

found old people, seventy-five, to eighty years old people.

Every single cell was evacuated. Later on we found out

that this was the policy of the Germans to take us in and to

P:They supposed

I:That is right.

P:So, you went into the boarder because you knew that they were

going to attack.

I:That is right. And we crossed the boarder later, in the moment

that they reported through the radio, we do not have

televisions in this country, the radio, they reported,

Immediately we crossed the boarder. We

crossed the boarder and a matter of fact we were a little

bit miss informed too. I would say the espionage, the

Polish espionage was very poor, because in the night time,

at one o'clock our general called in a few units and he was

talking to us. The Germans crossed the boarder to Poland in

another section. We are crossing the boarder to Germany,

they are going to and we are going to Berlin. You

know, what they found out was a fantasy, you know. We went

in a day and the next day they were giving us a

They surrounded us, my gosh, from the air, from the ground,

and we backed out.

P:What rank were you?

I:Lieutenant. Only realize something else, a lieutenant in the

Polish army was at least the power of a captain here, maybe

a major. The system and the officers was entirely


P:I understand. Did you lose a lot of friends?

I:Yes. We were slaughtered out, we went in around eleven

thousand men, I will not be surprised if we lost three or

four thousand men.

P:I am not talking about Polish lives, I am talking about people

who you knew, people who you worked with, who you were

friends with.

I:Oh, yes.

P:Good friends you have lost.

I:Yes. They attacked the whole country from the air. It was

very strong, the air force and Poland does not have but a

few airplanes on it. They attacked from the air and

slaughtered thousands of innocent people, cities you know.

They bombed cities, ten, twelve, every fifteen

minutes and dropping bombs at this time.

P:Any experiences in battle, did you ever see a friend of yours


I:Yes. Realize that the Polish soldier was excellent. The young

officer was without experience, the old officers like

and all of the Generals they were still officers in

the first war, they got experience. The young officers were

trained in a school and put in a nice uniform and the pistol

and that was all, they would be without experience.

P:Now, the reason I was asking you if you had friends or not, is

I am trying to get from you a personal memory. Do you have

a personal memory of a friend who died or a direct


I:Yes, friends, relatives.

P:Tell me about a friend who died in battle.

I:Well, I do not remember the names now, there were quite a few


P:Is there any incident in the war time, that you found

especially gripping that you still have a memory of?

I:Well, I will tell you about this. It was quite a few friends

from the same unit, you know, which we know that they never

returned back. We marched in, we attacked,

fine, He was missing, and he is not a

prisoner of war, he died. The war was entirely different.

It was a massacre, you know, because they attacked from the

air tremendously and we do not have the experience in the

air. They attacked there was bombing day and night. What

is most important, there was bombing, not only military

objects, private civilian people, killed civilian people,

like unbelievably.

P:Did you at that point hate all Germans?

I:Well I will tell you this, I must state this as a matter of

opinion. I just testified about six months ago about the


P:I interviewed you about that.

I:Oh, you know, I testified, but see in the court the judge was

asking me, will you say that you hate all of the Germans,

and I said no. Because a lot of Germans during the war,

saved my life and my families life.

P:But you hate Nazis of course.

I:There is no question, I hate the regime, I hate the system, you


P:Now after the defeat of Polish army, after the thirty days of

battle when the Germans moved in, how did you become the

writing instructor of ? Tell me about that.

I:In 1939, when the Polish army was defeated, it was a matter of

agreement, which Stalin signed with Hitler in Moscow, just a

week before the war, that they would divide Poland in two

halves. We had not realized this agreement had been signed.

The United States and England were negotiating and in the

mean time had arrived to Moscow and in a second

building they signed an agreement and this time,

was the Jewish fund secretary in Russia and all the sudden

he resigned and took over. Because most properly

[inaudible] talk to you. Stalin replaced him immediately

and took over and this time they made their

agreement that they would divide Poland up to the river San.

The Russians will take and from San up to there the Germans

will take and a matter of fact the Germans crossed the

boarder, not far from Landsberg from a city, later they

backed out and the Russian army the 17 of September, early

Sunday morning, the Russians marched into Poland and the

Germans went back and they established the marginal line in

this time.

P:How did this relate to you and when the Germans came into your


I:Well, I will tell you this, when the Germans came into my town,

I was not there, because I was in the army and I crossed the

boarder to Romania with the Polish army. Later in five

days, I decided to go back, I was going back with the

Russian army. Well the Russian army was marching and the

Germans were falling back. I arrived to my town with the

Russian army and what I found out in this same town, just a

week before, the Germans picked up six hundred Jewish

people. Lawyers, doctors, judges, Rabbis, and they killed

them. They took them out on to the field and they killed

this six hundred people in the day time.

P:All of them?

I:All of them, everybody was involved and this time was my

brother-in-law Big business men, attorneys,

doctors, judges, and Rabbis.

P:None, of your direct family.


P:Now, how did you, I am a little confused.


P:In that you say that you marched back with the Russian army.


P:They let you march back with them?

I:I was a civilian, I changed clothes on the boarder.

P:I see.

I:A lot of people who were escaping the Germans, they went and

later they came back. I was a civilian, a private civilian,

a man like everyone, because I changed the Polish uniform

and nobody knew who I was.

P:But you also said that the Russians went back there. But, I

understand though that eventually you came onto the control

of the Germans.

I:Oh, in 1941, this was a year and a half later.

P:Really. Tell me about that.

I:The was in this way. In 1939 the Germans marched into

our town, to Eastern Europe, Eastern Poland, the agreement

in Moscow, between and Stalin and Hitler,

they made an agreement that they divide Poland in two halves

up to the river, one half the Russians will take, and one

half Poland [was it the Germans not Poland] will take. A

matter of fact the Russians have no rights to go in and to

make an agreement with Hitler, you know. This I will say

that the Russians put a knife in the back to the Polish

army. But we have nothing with the Russians, peaceful

boarder, a peaceful nation, we have nothing to do with it.

When they divided and this time the Russians took over

city and they start their massacre too. Taking away

the people to Siberia and a matter of fact my brother was

arrested by them and he never returned, we do not know what

he is up to today.

P: tried to slaughter a Polish army.

I:Yeah, they cut him and cut him. Finally, I was in the city, I

was a son of a former big farm owner and this was a crime to

the Russians, I was a criminal. Only on the other hand

there was a tremendous shortage of agriculture people in

Russia. They are hungry in today. I found a job

to work in a cellar, to sort potatoes in a basement and I

will say it is maybe luck, a russian come in

pulled in over there and he was asking me the directions. I

went out and I was speaking fluently Russian, because

Ukrainian and Russian are very similar two languages. I

finished a Ukrainian school.

He said, "Oh, you speak wonderful Ukrainian."

I said, "Yes."

"What kind of profession do you have?"

I said, "Well, I am an agronomist".

He said, "what!"

I said, "Yeah, I am an agronomist".

He said, "You want to tell me an agronomist is working here in a

basement sorting


I said, "Yes".

"Have you any papers as an agronomist?"

I said, "Definitely."

He said, "Come in." I was sorry I later why I told him I was an

agronomist, because they would find out who I am and it

would be the first step to Siberia. He took me on a stroll.

P:Did you tell him that?

I:Under road, going with him to the head quarters. What the

hell, I was public, why I was talking to him, for what.

They took me in to the communist party in the city and they

told me to wait in the waiting room, in the mean time a lot

of local communists saw me.

"Oh", they said, "they caught you." Finally, they called me

inside, the from and the local political

they started to question me. How big my fathers

farm was. I told them a little bit smaller, you know. If I

was involved in my fathers farm. I said no, I was not

involved. Of course, I was in school, later I was in the

army and later I went into Agricultural school. What kind

of rank do you have in the army? I told them, I was a

lieutenant. Oh, a lieutenant. I said this was the Polish

war, if somebody graduated from college, high school, if he

was capable, he went into the officers school. Have you any

papers to say you were an agronomist? I said yes. Where

are you ? I said the .In this, the

was occupied by the Russians.

P:What is it called?

I: was big agricultural school. A lot of

Americans we have over there in agricultural school. So you

have papers. I said yes. Go home and bring the papers. I

went home and brought the papers. He said listen, we want

to send you for four weeks to retrain you in agriculture and

you will take your work to the city of Shamish to supply

with agriculture products for the army and the city. Will

you go for retraining? I said Yes I will go, why not. I

arrived, they sent me out to a little town in in

Eastern Poland, a hundred kilometers from Shamish. I

arrived over there.

P:I am sorry. [end of side one A]

Continue. You said so they sent you to . .

I:They asked me if I will go to the school to be retrained and I

told them definitely yes. They sent me over there, I

arrived the next day and was in a class with fifty or sixty

trainees. I was listening to this professor, the thursday

and I found out that the professor does not know anything

either. He was a Russian professor from Moscow. My

competitors, I was looking around and they did not know

anything. They asked me a few questions and I answered a

every question and the professor was looking around, are you

really an agronomist trained in Poland? Yes. They started

to question me, back and forth, back and forth, finally he

asked me this way, he said can you do me a favor. What is

it. I plan to go for two weeks vacation, will you take over

the class for two weeks, you should lecture. I said fine,

only one condition, if you come back I want to go for a week

home. He said yes. Three or four days later, he went away,

to Moscow for a vacation and I took over the class.

P:Wait a second, we will return to that in a second. What kind

of people were in this class, were they mainly Poles, or

were their some Russians as well.

I:No Poles, really you know, they were truck drivers. People on

a low level. Really intellectually very low. Somebody had

a three acre farm in there. Low standard of people. I have

not found one man that I should be able to sit with him and

to talk really farming.

P:Okay, so you made this agreement that you would take over the

class, please continue.

I:I took over the class, he went away and I was going on with the

class and it was not too hard, because you do not need to

teach them too much, because they do not know anything. You

know, everything you told them was okay. In two weeks he

returned back, he took over the class and he gave me a few

days off and I went home. Finally in four weeks, I got my

diploma. I got my diploma from this course, one from the

best and highest honors in agriculture. I returned back to

my city and went to this political who was a nice

guy this political

P:Do you remember his name?

I:Yes. Wasko.

P:That was his last name?

I:Yes, Wasko.

P:Do you remember his first name?

I:No. He was really a very nice guy. At least he was at a

decent level intellectually. You know, he was not from the

He called me in and he asked me, if you have

realized of a responsibility you have. You will be

responsible for sixty-five thousand people, to supply

fruits, vegetables, and all agricultural products. Beside

this, we have twenty thousand men in the army, you will need

to supply them too. Will you be able to do it. I said, it

is a job, a very responsible job, I will try, on only one

condition, you must give me people, people I know in the

city, I was going to school over there, you must permit me

to select people in my that should be able to help

me. I, one man can not supply seventy-five, or eighty

thousand people with products. You see, you have a field

hand. I organize the staff, because we will figure cabbage,

we need to marinate the tomatoes, to prepare for

the winter, you can have the food to vegetate for a whole

year, you know. You need to prepare in the summer time, in

the storage houses, and to keep up in the winter. I

prepared people who were doing this in the city, before the

war, for themselves and business and I was young,

enthusiasm, you know. Seven or eight hundred people and

beautiful horses and beautiful and beautiful

office, and I start to have problems with the local

communist. They want to get rid of me. The local

communists from the city.

P:Well, they remembered where you came from.

I:That is right. I have problems and one particular guy, his

mother was working for us, he was a guy of nineteen years, I

think, he said do not worry you will go to Siberia, sooner

or later, you being a big shot does not mean anything. I

went to Wasko, I said listen Mr. Wasko, I told you who I am,

I have not hid anything, you gave me a job, I am

responsible, but I believe certain people should not

interfere, because they are paralyzing and they are taking

away my respect. Who is this, he said. I said, it is this

guy. He said do not worry. The next day, I am coming into

the office and I see the newspaper. The newspaper going,

everyday I was going down to the local newspaper to see what

was going on. I saw the newspaper and this David Rosin.

His name was Rosin was transferred to be manager in the

farm, on a big farm, eight to ten thousand pigs, which most

agronomists would not take this responsibility because with

pigs you need to know all of their kinds of diseases, you

need to know the business in different ways, you can be

wiped out and he kindly told me, you see. Fine God bless


P:What happened to this guy?

I:He went to jail, I will tell you why. He took over the farm,

in six weeks the pigs start to die. He did not know

anything about this. They sentence him for .He

was against the against communism and he was sent

to Siberia. This was the Russian communist system.

P:What was your reaction to that?

I:I know in heart that when they are assigned to go to this farm,

I as a professional agronomist, I do not take this

responsibility. It is a very touchy, you know what I mean,

you have to be very careful, you must know how to handle, it

was a special disease, they call they will be sick

over night and they will die like flies. I was working a

year and a half, respectful, a lot of Polish people were

working by me, I was giving them jobs, they considered the

place as a hiding place to be. You know. If you are not a

communist you can not have a job, I took him away. Polish,

Ukrainian, Jewish, all come in, I need you.

P:Your family, were they over there?

I:My wife was over there with me, my father. I had a child at

this time, a daughter, she is now here. This was going on

and I was very careful, because my father warned me

constantly. "Remember, my son, do not engage yourself

politically. Communism will not stay forever here. Do not

make enemies because you do not know what will be tomorrow."

After six or seven months, the political took away

three big farms from Polish prince, you know what I mean.

Nobody can operate us.

P:They took away your father's farm too.

I:Oh yeah, my father went away in a different direction and the

called me to tell me, "can you come at least once a

week, to give some directions. We are losing we

are losing our cattle, we are losing everything."

I said, I do not know.

"Once a week."

I said, "Okay I promise, one day a week I will spend on each farm

and I will give instructions of what to do." The first

week, when I arrived to one of the farms, the beautiful farm

was a Polish prince of the farm, though I arrived over there

and the Russian army is setting in the stables, the horses

on the wheat, and not on oats. You know, I mean, and in the

big beautiful rooms, they knocked out the windows and they

put in little chimney out through the

windows. You know, from Siberia, Russia, you

know. I said, listen, first of all the you must

remove the army. He removed the army and later I tried to

help, though not too much, for it was practically

impossible, you know, because I was only one man. All of a

sudden, you know how they organized agriculture, the

Russians, all of a sudden their was a shortage in potatoes,

a shortage of cabbage. We exported, Poland exported before

the war, we were 68% agriculture. We exported to the United

States, pork, eggs, poultry, we exported, all sorts of

shortage and their was nothing their and I went to Russia,

they sent me to Russia to buy products to bring into Poland,

for the people, the army.

P:So, you actually went to Russia?

I:Yes, I went to Russia, I spent three weeks over there.

I loaded up a whole train. Products I

bought and brought to the city parts. I was gone for this

seventeen months, Friday night the 22 of June, Hitler

attacked the Russians. In the day time, I loaded two cars

on the train, on the Germans side. You will see

the Germans constantly, and they have not realized, the

Russians, that the Germans are preparing for a war. They

have the whole army prepared to hit the Russians. The 22 of

June, in the night time, at one o'clock, the Germans crossed

the city and we are under German occupation and this time,

all of my kingdom, was finished, only I got a lot of Polish,

which I helped tremendously during the Russian occupation

and immediately in the night time on [inaudible] stopped

over at my house. He asked my wife, where is Stanley.

P: or the Polish?

I:From the Polish community, before the war.


I:Where is Stanley? He is hiding, I am taking him home. He took

me to his house, he said we will see what the Germans will

do with the Jews. A week, two weeks, to wait around, in the

mean time I was sitting two weeks over there by him and this

same guy during the Russian occupation, his three daughters

was working by me. All three daughters I got jobs,

was working by me. He helped us a lot with the Germans.

P:What was his name?

I: I was now in Poland, I was with the children there,

I spent hours with them and he helped and they consecrated

the ghettos, the Germans, I went in to the ghetto and I got

direct contact with the Polish underground.

P:Before we get going into the Polish underground, a few

questions about just that.


P:You said that he helped you. How did he help you?

I:How, first of all when they took us to the ghettos, I got a

house, I got everything in the house.

P:So, he had pulled with the Nazis then.

I:No, he was Polish. The Polish they had not done anything. He

helped me, he took away everything from my house and he

prepared me, Polish, German documents, that I am not Jewish

with my wife, in case we should need to run away, we should

have a passport. They called us in German, Kenkarta. A

Germans Kenkarta, he prepared this and he took away my

jewelry, silver, It was just after a wedding and finally he

helped me to put in my child to the bishop.

P:Bishop, what was the name of the bishop?


P:Your daughter went, what was your daughter's name?

I:Tony. He was going with messages to help You know,

he was helping, you know what I mean. He was devoted


P:Okay, now you went to the Polish ghetto.

I:No, Jewish ghetto.

P:Jewish ghetto. Where was this?

I:In Shamish.

P:In Shamish. Now, how did you become the personal writing


I:Well, being in the ghetto, finally the Commandant,

was a He wanted to learn horse back riding, he

and his wife. The was giving an order, all the

Jewish people which no something about horses should

immediately report to this and this place. There was

reported about three hundred men. In the three hundred men,

I was too. My only brother and maybe an hour later, two

German general from SS put a table out and brought

three horses and everyone from this must go five

hundred feet from one side and the other side of the horse.

The two generals were checking back and forth, back and

forth, finally when I stopped him on the horse, then I was

qualified with the horse as excellent.

P:I am sorry?

I:I was qualified with horses from my home, on the farm, and I

was an excellent rider on a horse. One of the generals said

to the other one, this dirty jew, he is riding so

like excellent the dirty Jew, he called

me in German, he is riding something unbelievable. Put the

man aside. Finally they tested the whole group and

everybody went home and they called me in. They sid, Listen

you are responsible with your head.

P:I am sorry what?

I:I am responsible for my head, for the Commandant and his wife.

You must teach him horse back riding and remember if

something were to happen to him or to her, you will be

killed on the spot. This was a tremendous responsibility,

because this he cared more for a horse than an

Orthodox Rabbi, you know. This person who I took to a

horse, was killing people, but a horse he was

afraid. I started to train him and her. One day her and

one day him, finally she was riding better than he.

P:What was her name, do you remember?

[Mr. Igel asked his wife and she says a name, he repeats it, but

she is not sure, she can not remember.]

I:Hernay. Finally I must change my twice a day, you

know, I have ten horses in the stable and I have twenty men

to clean the horses. He told me I should not do anything

and I should have clean hands and I should be clean only to

ride with him and with her. I was teaching him practically

a year and her. Finally, the liquidation of the ghetto.

P:When was this?

I:This was in 1943, in July. The SS arrived with a staff

of two hundred men and they finishing out the ghetto.

[inaudible] and the Commandant, the local Commandant, I

started to talk to him, he acted like a wild animal. "Go

away, I do not want to see you."

P:This was

I: to me. "I do not want to see you." Finally, this guy

from boss, arrived to finish up the

ghetto, he was asking him why did he need ten horses in the

stable. Seven horses [inaudible], you only have two people.

called me, like a dog, take seven horses and put

them on the train.


I:Yes. The train was staying and they were lined up, the Jewish

people, children and women, crying like cattle. You know,

like animals. I took my and I took the seven

horses and this guy was watching how I slowed the captains

horses. He said to you know, I need him to

he is excellent on horses and said take

him. The mean time my wife is hidden in the stable, my

brother is hidden in the stable, and my father is hiding and

we I go, I have to get everybody out and when he told them

that I was going to I got the nerve and I went to

again and I said, "Commandant, your majesty, I am

not going to.

He said, "Go away, I will shoot you." I went away. I

went away, I say this from God, maybe ten minutes Mrs.

is coming to the ghetto. When she was talking to

me, when nobody was listening she called me Mr. Igel.

P:Mr. ?

I:Mr. Igel, but when somebody was listening, she called me Jew,

you there. She asked me why are you so sad. I said to her,

your majesty why should I not be sad. I supposed to go to

my wife, my brother, my father, I hide in the

stable with all of the horses. I have news for you, I said.

I am not going to if he wants to kill me,

She said, quiet down. We will see what we can

do. She went to him and he was giving her the business.

"Go away, I do not want to talk to you." Finally she was

not giving up. She went to his boss. You know, she was

pretty woman, dressed in boots, she took him

talking and laughing. She said to him, "Listen, I have a

man he taught me over about eight or nine months how to

horse back ride, and I still need some training, how about

leave him for three months. I want to finish the course."


She went to the husband and she said, "I have permission from

the eagle, to leave him here, he should teach me horse back

riding." She came around to me and said I was staying


I said, "what will happen to my family?"

"For this I will go to my husband," and she went again to him.

She said, "Listen, why should I go to your boss, why should

you not give him permission to take his family from the

stables too?" Finally, was coming over to me. He

said, "Ah you are lucky. Where are you hiding your family?"

I said, "In the stable."

He said, "Bring them out," and I was this way, "or we

will kill them." I did not have anything to lose. I went

to the stable and my wife was crying.

"You are taking me for killing."

I said, "Come out." I took out my brother and my wife.

P:Your father?

I:No, my father, I was keeping, I was afraid he was older, he

should not send him away, so I was keeping him in the

stable. In the mean time, I am staying in the stable and I

am the boss while I am here. He started to segregate two

hundred and fifty people which would remain to clean up the

mess. Right, left, he was coming towards my wife.

He said, "You are lucky," right to my brother, "you are lucky

too, to remain." This was the end. They took away all of

the Jews to two hundred and fifty remained, I

returned back and I returned my father to my old home.

Only, this was the end. I was talking to my wife, "Listen,

my dear wife, next week you are leaving." I have prepared

places for Polish people. I prepared place for everyone.

For my brother, and I took her out twenty-six miles in the

woods to a Polish family. But, this Polish family was

killed because of us and she went over there.

P:Where did you take her?

I:To a Polish family, which I know the family.

P:How did you know them?

I:I met them during the Polish and I know he was a

retired Polish police man from the old regime, you know.

P:Okay, they were killed by the

I:Later, I will tell you why. I later, went with my wife to him

and I took with me three other guys too. It was in the

winter time, his name was Gerula, Mr. and Mrs. Gerula.

Finally, Mr. Gerula was going Sunday morning to church. He

was coming back in two hours and he said to me, "You know,

Mr. Igel, a woman was hollering in the church, that I was

hiding Jewish people."

I said, "Mr. Gerula to night I am leaving."

He said, "No, do not be stupid, who is listening to her."

I said, "Mr. Gerula to night I am leaving." In the night time, I

took my brother, I took my wife, he took us out five miles

out in the woods and then we left. The three guys, when I

told them do not stay here any more, they started laughing.

They said, "You are panicking. You are known for panic

making." They remained. This was Sunday. Tuesday morning

the arrived, they looked around, they found the

three Jewish guys, they killed them on the spot,

and they arrested and his wife. Why they arrested

them, there was a reason. I left a little suit case and

over there was all of my papers. They found the papers,

they told them tell them where the Igels are and they said,

"I do not know," and he knew where we were exactly. They

hung them in Shamish, in thirty days. She and he were hung

and they never admitted where we were.

P:How do you know what they said and so forth?

I:Well, I will tell you why. The children [inaudible].

P:I see.

I:The children

P:What was the name of this man again?


P:A retired police officer.

I:A retired police officer.

P:Was he friends with your family too?

I:No, I met him coincidentally, you know.

P:Many years ago.

I:That is right.

P:Now, something that we have not touched on was some of the

atrocities that you saw commit.


P:I remember you telling me about riding through the ghetto.

I:It was like nothing to kill people in the ghetto with a machine

gun. It was exactly like going hunting.

P:So, tell me the experience.

I:Well a lot of times I was riding with them, the horses, I was

riding with them day and night, constantly. He was in the

front and I was at the end. Children were playing or

somebody was staying near the line, for fun, he pulled out

the gun and he killed. A matter of a fact, a Polish guy, an

older Polish guy was trying to sell bread to a Jewish guy in

the ghetto, he was near the fence. He caught them and he

hung them.

P:Did you see him order them?

I:Yes, definitely.

P:Just for selling bread.

I:Selling bread to a Jewish guy, to help a Jewish guy. You know

mostly what I am really surprised about is that the schools,

the universities are limited in this catastrophe. Do you

know why? After we all leave in a few years, we are not

here forever, after we will go, this will fade out

completely. Because we are still the witnesses of what we

saw and what we went through. History when you put it in a

book, it is always weaker, you know how it is. Difference

is that I can say that I was there, I saw this and different

again is oh, I saw that in a book. It is entirely different

and this is the reason I testified in case. The

chairman court was very much impressed with me. Why? There

was a testimony before me . .

[end of side two A].

P:Okay, I want to stay on a little bit longer. Now you

have told me about him riding through the ghetto with you

and shooting.



I:Children, people. Not only Jewish, but he saw someone near the

ghetto and he did not like them.

P:Was this on one occasion?

I:On this one occasion, very so.

P:So, you only saw him do it one time.

I:One time, yes.

P:How many people did he shoot?

I:In the hundreds of people.

P:That one time?

I:No, the whole time, this time he killed five, ten, for fun. He

enjoyed it. I personally feel, he was a sick man.

P:Now, I am just trying to be a little clearer. You saw him, did

you only see him one time do this and shoot and kill?

I:Twenty thirty times.

P:Thirty times you saw him do this?

I:That is right. It was nothing, it was normal for him.

P:So, whenever he was riding with you?

I:When I was riding with him he was looking around for trouble,

he was looking out to find trouble, you know. Children were

playing, usually children were not allowed, the children

should be home and not exist at all. All the children they

took to and if children were hiding, you know, some

people were hiding the children and if he saw them, he

finished them up.



P:Did you ever feel like killing him yourself?

I:Yes, and no. I will tell you why. I was afraid. If I go kill

him, then what was the possibility, my whole family will be

killed and beside this another hundred and thirty people

would be killed. They will take advantage of it, they will

say, this dirty Jew he killed the

Commandant. We will take two hundred people to kill him.

This is the reason.

P:But, you did debate it with yourself?

I:Oh, yes. I will tell you why. I realized that in times like

that, you start to be wild. You start to think entirely

different. If you see innocent people are killed, children

are killed, you know, without any reasons, without any

crimes. Only because he is Jewish.

P:Did you think God had abandoned you?

I:Yes. Definitely.

P:Were you still practicing your faith?


P:You were practicing your faith.


P:But you thought God had abandoned you.


P:I do not understand.

I:No, if I was thinking God abandoned me, no, I was forgetting

that God is helping me to exist in life and to survive.

P:So you did not think God was abandoning you.

I:No, up to the last moment. I was always feeling, God will help

me and the reason I was feeling God will help me is because

during this catastrophe, during the Communist regime and

during the Hitler regime I was trying to help a lot of

people. No matter what kind of and I felt that we

have something higher to pay me back at least this.

P:I guess what I was trying to ask you is, seeing all of these

innocent children and seeing all of this tragedy, did this

ever shake your faith, your belief and the existence of God.

I:Well, the older you are getting, then you start to believe

more. You are saying, their must be something higher.

P:Well, that may apply to Stanley Igel right now, in 1993, but I

am asking you as a young man in 1943.


P:Did you have, was your faith in God during this time shaken?

I:No. I was believing still, that I have done a lot of good for

people and I was ninety percent sure that I would survive.

P:Okay. That is your future, but I am asking about God. Did you

think that God . .

I:No, I was thinking that there was something higher and it was a

lot better. Because I respected my parents, I have done

everything that was possible for my parents and for my

family. I respected poor people, I was trying to help

during the Communist regime hundreds of hundreds of people

and I was thinking that I had faith and I was not wrong.

P:Were any of your relatives killed by the Nazis?

I:Two hundred and sixty-five close relatives. From both

sides, father's and mother's.


I:Uncles, aunts, two hundred and sixty-five on a list.

P:How many of them did you know well of?

I:Every one.

P:You mean you had two hundred and sixty-five relatives?

I:Yes. It was a big family. Mother had six sisters and four

brothers and father had four brothers and two sisters and

you know cousins and uncles and aunts and second cousins.

Two hundred and sixty-five people.

P:Now, I am going to try to ask you, aside from the many times, I

am going to try to minimize it, the many times road

through the ghettos shooting people, and you said how many

times did you say you saw him do this yourself?

I:Countless times.

P:You saw him kill people . .

I:Countless times and this I testified in court. I told him that

he did not do anything to me personally, because he needed

me, but what I witnessed he alone should be cut in pieces.

Not sentenced, but cut in pieces and thrown to the dogs.

P:So, there is no forgiveness in your heart?

I:No. She was a nice lady. [inaudible] a matter of fact she left

him, like I understand.

P:Tell me did he ever do this killing of other people in the

presence of his wife? Did he act differently in the

presence of his wife ?

I:I can not say that I never saw her, when he killed. Oh, she

knows about it, believe me.

P:Never in her company?


P:Let me just make this clear. Never in her company did you see

him kill?

I:No, never. This is the reason that I got a feeling that she

was against it when she was alive. Hitler was running the

war, would take over the whole world soon.

P:Did you see any other atrocities, I mean those are a lot of

atrocities, you are talking about dozens of atrocities, but

did you see other, not so much atrocities, but other clear

examples, other memories of atrocities that he committed.

I: ?


I:Well, yes. Figure, he took ten men and he told them to do a

job and they were not able to do the job, he put them on the

floor and he gave them fifty, twenty-five lashes.

P:Twenty-five what?

I:With his



P:With his what?

I:It was like steal and rubber.


I:Stick yes.

P:And you saw him do this.

I:Yes, oh yes a lot of times.

P:I understand that you ultimately escaped. When you found out

that he was planning to send you . .

I:No, I escaped, first, I sent away my wife. I sent away my wife

and most, probably somebody from the Jewish people told him

that my wife went away. You know somebody wanted to get

good with him or something and in the morning when I went to

pick him up, he asking me, "I have not seen your wife

where is she?"

I said, "She is sick the second day." "

Tomorrow morning I want her to be remember." This was

around eleven o'clock in the morning, I called up my brother

and said tonight we are going.

He said, [inaudible]. "We are going tonight," and I put two

horses in the garden and [inaudible]

P:I am sorry you took the policeman what?

I: policemen were watching us, when we went out of the



I:A guard, I should say,

P:I told them openly that I needed to go to to put the

horse shoes on the horses.

I:Horse shoes, yes. He went out with me, he knew that I am the

boss for I am riding around with him, at last I

went out from the ghetto and is coming from the

movie. Two big ducks. He says stop. I stepped down and I

went over to his and he said, where are you going

now at 4:45? I said, "I am going to put horse shoes on the


He said, "Remember in forty-five minutes you are back."

I said, "Your majesty I will be back." We went out in the city

and this policeman is asking me, "Where are you going?" I

said, "I will tell you the truth, we have a wedding tonight

and we are going to the wedding for my brother."

"What do I tell the Commandant?"

"Do not worry, I will be back in the morning, I will be back at

5:00 in the morning."

P:Did he see your brother or was your brother hidden?

I:No, my brother was walking by me with the horses and I was

giving my brother a signal. I turned around the horses and

my brother was sitting at the back and he took away the

rifle from the policeman. The rifle was sitting under the

seat. He was sitting and the rifle was next to him. My

brother took the rifle away.

P:You stole it from him.

I:No, we took it away openly. I opened the rifle, took out the

bullets and I was giving the rifle back and we jumped on the

back of the horses and rode into the woods and in the woods,

the same guy who had taken my wife was waiting for


P:Did you take your horses?

I:No, I left him the horses, everything complete.

P:Did the guard run after you?

I:No. He did not have anything. When I took away the bullets

from the rifle, he is not going to go in the woods, they

would kill him over there, you know. He did not have

anything. The next morning, we had found Jewish people, the

next morning I got a report, was waiting until

seven o'clock, I was supposed to go and pick him up and

nobody showed up. He was walking through the ghetto and

they told him that I disappeared. He said I know where he

is, he is on his father's farm, our farm was around seven or

eight miles away. I will find him and we will hang him in

the city. He will hang in the city for fourteen days. He

sent the to the village and I was in a different

direction entirely.

P:With your wife?

I:With my wife and my brother.

P:Your daughter was still with the bishop?


P:You just said something to me in passing. You said that he

called you number forty-five. What ? What did he

call you?

I:He called me Igel.

P:Igel okay. I thought you said he called you forty-five.


P:Okay. Never mind then.

I:Or sometimes he called me nothing, you.


I:You in German. not by my name.

P:Now, you were also a member of the Polish underground.


P:During the same time?


P:What sorts of things did you do as a member of the underground?

I:I will tell you. We were assigned by the Germans to select

guns and munitions for the Russians left. You know, they

took over the barracks, the Germans. There was a lot of

guns and munitions and they got a group of people to sort

them out and select, to see it, to pack them, and to send

them to the Germans. My job was to steal rifles, munitions

and to supply the Polish underground.

P:So, the Germans assigned you to help collect all of this stuff.

I:Not only me, I got twenty-five, thirty people. There were big

warehouses. The Russians left the warehouses.

P:But the Germans assigned you to do what?

I:To watch these twenty-five people who selected the munitions,

the guns, they cleaned, they packed, there was shipping for

the German army from the Russian front.

P:But, you ended up stealing some of it.

I:Not, really.

P:Sending it to the underground.

I:Send it to the underground, the Polish underground.

P:Would they get other people in cahoots with you doing this?

I:Well, I was afraid, so I had not too many, one or two. I was

afraid to trust. It should not leak out. You know. You

know how it is. People are working, sometimes somebody will

be mad at me and will say you were still munitions

and guns. I was trying to be limited.

P:Were there a lot of Polish collaborators?

I:With the Germans?

P:With the Germans.

I:Yes. Not a big percentage, only a few were collaborating.

P:Huh. Do you remember any other things that you were doing with

the underground? Did you have secret meetings from time to


I:Well, yes. We had secret meetings. In the meetings most

interests were how to bring munitions and guns. We did not

have any reports on what was going on outside, we had no

radios, nothing. What is going on? Well, the front of

Russia is progressing. You know.

P:But, you were working at this place while you were working for

I:No. This was a whole year before.


I:When I was working with horseback riding, I was not

doing anything. This was my job.

P:So immediately after the Russians retreated and the Germans

took over, you worked in this . .

I:In the This means the boss of the city and

the army. They have two divisions. was the army

and Gestapo, was the police. The was not so bad,

the soldiers, the plain army. The head of the was

this old captain .Which he saved us too. He was a

German, a major.

P:This is in what city?



I:He was doing a lot of good for the Jewish people.

P:How did he help you?

I:How he helped. We got work in his unit, around seventy or

eighty people and when the started to prepare a

liquidation, he knew before and he told me always, listen be

careful this week. The was coming and they will

take our ten or twenty percent people in the ghetto.

Finally when the liquidation was before we went to

he Sunday morning was calling me said to the military

policemen that he needed me badly, that I should come to

work. he said listen, the is going to

liquidate fifty percent of the ghetto. I need my eighty

people. I will send trucks for the wives and children and

take them out and bring them here to the basement. I went

with five big trucks, the military police and the families

we took out which were working over there. He kept them in

the basement and the were on the second floor and

for this purpose they took him under front. He lost his

position and they sent him on the Russian front. When I

testified, I asked where he is, if he survived or did he

die, he was older. I told the German court he was

gentlemen, he deserved for and for this reason they

sent him on the Russian front.

P:Did he die on the Russian front?

I:No, he turned back. He was in He returned back and

he died later. His wife is alive and they were giving me

the address for his wife and I will be in Germany and I will

go and visit her some day.

P:What was his name, do you remember?


P:Colonel Battel or?



I:He was a retired attorney.

P:You actually think that he was a hero.

I:Yes. He was talking to me. He used me to go shopping for him,

to do things like a butler, you know what I mean. To bring

him something and a lot of times he told me in the house,

"Watch this brown gangsters from they are no good.

They will kill all the Jews. Only do not talk to anybody.

If you have a place, find one for yourself, for the family

and disappear."

P:He was telling you that?


P:And this was before came in the picture.

I:Oh, before It was before

P:Now when you went to the Jewish ghetto.


P:And these families.


P:You knew that the families that you loaded up had a good chance

of living, and those who did nol load up had a very good

chance of dieing.


P:I am sure that you might have taken some people that you knew


I:Well, you know how it is. If I can sneak in someone else in

the truck, I sneak them in, you know. Or you can not get

too many. If you have five trucks and we have sixty or

seventy people working, he wants to have all of his working

people and the women and children.

P:So, there is a little bit of discretion.

I:Was a little bit always.

P:Now, how many trucks did they send in?

I:Five or six trucks, but they were with the military police.

P:How many people did you end up bringing?

I:Around seventy-five, eighty or maybe ninety, I do not remember


P:This kind of put you in a position of power though.

I:I will tell you yes and no. I will tell you why. I was an

order from the commandant that he wanted to have

his people brought from the ghetto. The military police

arrived too.

P:What I am saying in a position of power is if you decide to get

one or two families more, I am sure you had to decide which


I:Well, it is always like this. No matter how you want to do it,

you can not help everyone.

P:That is difficult though.

I:It is difficult.

P:Because literally has the power of life or death.

I:That is right.

P:How did you deal with that?

I:Well, more or less if you know somebody, it is human nature.

The shirt is always closer to the skin, than the jacket.

P:I have never heard that one before.

I:That is right.

P:Now during this time, before during when

you were living under German occupation, was there any sort

of cultural activities?

I:No, not for the Jewish people.

P:So, there were not synagogues that you would go to?


P:Even in secret?

I:Even in secret.

P:Was there anything socially that you did to

I:Yes, to save a life. This was the of everyone. To

have bread, a bottle of milk and to save for tomorrow.

P:That is it?

I:To live from day to day. It is very hard to explain today,

being fifty years in the United States, to explain the

mentality in this time. People start in this time to be a

little bit like animals.


I:Why, I want to live. I am doing everything that is possible to

live and this is unfortunately, no matter how unrealistic

you are, your life, or your wife's life, or your brother's

life, or your child's life is coming first always. We must

admit this. I doubted if somebody would say, okay I will

send my father, and I will save you. It is human nature.

P:I would like to go back to again.


P:We keep going back to him, I know. Can you in your mind

remember the first time that you saw him kill a child or

another person?

I:Yes, very simple. The first time that we went out horseback

riding and I was leading the horse and he

was sitting, he was scared of a horse, like a duck.

P:The first time?

I:The first week and I was holding him on the horse so he would

not fall down. Because his boss told me that if anything

were to happen to him, I would be killed immediately and I

was holding him and he was scared. Children were running

around, you know how children are, little, three years, four

years, five years, you know, he pulled out the gun and shot

around and around. He killed about two our three or four or


P:Killed them?

I:Killed them or very interesting incident. The brought

to the ghetto two beautiful girls. Jewish girls. Beautiful

girls. They caught them on the train and found papers that

they were not Jewish. They brought them to the ghetto.

P:How did they know they were Jewish if the papers said they were

not Jewish.

I:Oh, do not worry, they know. They have all kinds of ways.

Most probably they were beating them and they admitted.

They were told to go to he was the boss of all the

Jewish people. He took them aside and he pulled out his gun

and click, click and that was all.

P:Did you see this?


P:You saw this?

I:Yes. I saw him hang this guy. Three guys decide to run away

from the ghetto.

P:Jewish men?

I:Yes. Three Jewish men decide to go to the These

were city boys. I was a country boy. But, a city boy is

hard to run away and to be in the woods, to be in the field.

Do you know what I mean? I was a country boy, it was easy

for me. After a week they returned back. They returned back

and he hung one of these guys and he was staying and

watching. It took three Jewish policemen. They have

police, we have Jewish policemen, without guns. They just

needed policemen to keep everything in order, do you know

what I mean. He hung this guy.

P:He hang?

I:He hung one of those guys for returning to the ghetto.

P:What did he do with the Jewish policemen?

I:Nothing the policemen hung him.

P:The Jewish policemen hung him?

I:Yes. He was watching. He was giving the orders.

P:Wow. So, Jewish policemen were hanging?

I:Yes. They followed the orders of if they did not, he

would pull the gun out and kill them. In the ghetto there

was no other people, just Jewish people.


I:When he walked in the ghetto, God is walking. The man of life

and death. It is fifty years after this happened. It is

very hard. It is very hard to write a story about this.

You know. It was easy to write a story forty-five years

ago. When I was in Poland this year, we went to

The children went to the camp in I was not there.

I was staying outside. Do you know why? I was thinking,

what should I go to see. I saw this personally,

[end of side one B].

The Polish council, from 1938 to 1939, he is now a professor, a

food professor in Tampa University. His name is Skarski, I

do not know if you have heard the name. In 1942, the Polish

government in London sent in the ghetto, for the

underground, to find out what was going on in the ghettos,

because there was no CBS, in this time if color television.

Maybe five minutes a year of what is going on in Africa,

you know what I mean. He smuggled into the ghetto.

He saw how many thousand of people every day are killed and

die in hunger. The cars taken dead to the cemetery.

Children, fifty, hundred every day and he saw this and he

returned back to London and I was talking to him a few years

ago at Tampa University, he was lecturing, and he returned

back to London and he explained to the Polish government,

what he saw, with his own eyes, because the American people

and the English people had not believed in the beginning,

that Hitler was killing millions of Jews. They were not

believing, they said it was a story, propaganda. Finally he

decided to go to the United States. He went to the United

States, he was invited by President Roosevelt and he told

Roosevelt what he saw in the ghetto. Not that

somebody told him, but that he saw it with his own eyes. In

Roosevelt's office was sitting Justice Frankfurter. Justice

Frankfurter told him, Dr. Skarski, I do not believe it, this

is a propaganda. No, I am questioning something else.

Where was the intelligence of the United States. Did they

need to have Dr. Skarski, something else. When the

Americans were bombing from Germany, they were bombing the

area of Auschwitz and the Polish and Jewish underground sent

a telegram to the American head quarters, "Bomb Auschwitz.

We have two million in Auschwitz and you will kill a million

and a half at least a half a million people will be able to

get out." The answer was, "We can not bomb Auschwitz

because our planes can not go so far. We need to refuel.

Five miles from Auschwitz, was factories from Germans,

airplanes was bombed every night. Now this is a mystery up

to today, why this has happened, what was going on. Well,

you have a lot of older Jewish people that do not believe

that the United States had done their job in this time.

P:You sound very suspicious and very bitter.

I:Yes. I do not believe with the technology, with the embassies

all over, they should know that Hitler is killing six

million Jews It has not been explained to me yet. As a

growing I do not believe it.

P:Another question and that is, what I found fascinating is what

you told me about Jewish police officers in the ghetto.

I:Not, police officers, policemen. It was like guards.

P:Jewish guards, who were filling the dictated commands.

I:Of the Germans.

P:Of the Germans.

I:If they do not, they will kill them right away and everyone

wants to live, believe me.

P:You do not blame them?

I:Yes and no. I will tell you why. Remember, life is very

important, nobody wants to die and if he will not do the

job, the Gestapo will kill him, in this way he will have

another moment, maybe he will survive. You know, you need

to put yourself in the shoes of the other person.

P:Would you have done it?

I:I would not do it, maybe. I would not do it maybe, because I

do not trust to many of them. If I would be there

policemen, they could kill me anyhow. Wait until they kill

of all of the policemen anyhow. This was common for an

experience at that time. Well, it sounds to me that there

are a lot of people who were unsung heros that helped you


P:Well, I hate to go on personalities. Because unfortunately if

you in to personalities, you will find so many

discrepancies. Sometimes you believe and you do not

believe. It is very simple, mothers were giving up

children. They selected women and children, the children

separate, certain mothers went together with the child, to

the crematory, certain mothers take care of the child that

wants to live. You know, in this time the question of

survival is excused, because immediately people in a

situation like this turn into animals. You are losing the

morals, you are losing everything.

P:Did you have any nightmares?

I:Not now, before I had them. Not now.

P:When you say before?

I:After the liberation. Now, you listen it is fifty years after

the liberation.

P:But after, like for some years after you had nightmares.


P:What kind of nightmares?

I:Well, you see the ghetto, the liquidation, I am running away,

this, you know.

It is very easy to say today, I was a hero. It is not going so.

[next few lines are confusing.]

P:Okay, we are just about finished. I want to ask you if there

is any question pertaining to your experience that I should

have asked you, that I missed?

I:Well, I will tell you this, I personally feel I am blaming the

American school system and the lower and the higher

education. I personally feel that the Holocaust is not

being properly taken care of, to inject into the second

generation. But remember, this can repeat. This can

repeat! After fifty years, they built up a strong Germany,

you have a big Nazi party in Germany. You have Nazi parties

in the United States too. We do not want to see them. It

is not to see them. While I was testifying against

,my telephone was ringing, they were threatening

me, you know, we will kill you, you Kilter did not

kill you we will kill you. Who would have done this? Not

the church people, the Nazi party. They have Nazi parties

here, only we do not want to see them. We are living in a

country with all of the comforts and all of the luxuries and

we want to enjoy it, we do not want to see what is wrong.

P:Why must we remember?

I:We must remember, I tell you why. Take Poland, there are no

Jews in Poland any more, we have four or five thousand Jews

left and they are dieing, eighty, ninety years old. If

something will happen, the next will be the Catholics. No

Jews. Personally I feel that the free world is not doing

enough to inject through and through and to keep alive what

has happened.

P:Before we conclude, just a few final things, I would like to

try to get the rest of your life in about two minutes. So,

you ended up leaving for the United States, when?


P:1946. You had subsequent children in the United States.


P:All of your children are born . .

I:My daughter I took with me and my family came over here.

P:Your son is born here. Yeah. You moved to New Jersey you

worked as?

I:I moved to New Jersey for a far, I was elected by the Gentile

community to the County Board of Agriculture. The first

time a Jew was on the County Board of Agriculture. I was

president on the County Board of Agriculture. Later I was

elected by the Gentile community to the State Board of

Agriculture in Trenton and I was president for years.

Again, Governor Meyner, sent me to Washington to represent

the state of New Jersey in the Agricultural department and

no country in the world, can compete with the United States.

This is the country, if you want, if you are honest and you

know the limits, you know how far you can go, then I pray to

God for my children and my grandchildren here, God save

America and to save America, you need to look at this old

catastrophe carefully and not let it repeat again.

P:You have been retired here for how many years?

I:I have been retired for eight or nine years.

P:You moved here [where is here] in 19?

I:In 1980.

P:You used to be the president of the Farm Bureau?

I:In Poland no, in Trenton yes.

P:For New Jersey.

I:For New Jersey yes. I retired here, I joined

Hospital. I was on the board six years here.

Hospital, was the Jewish day school.

P:You have been to Israel.

I:Yes. Just three months ago. I was in Poland and then Israel.

I took the children to Poland and from Poland, we went to


P:Do you plan to return to both places in the future?

I:Oh yes. If God will to live, then yes. And I still

love Poland.

P:It is still home in a sense.


P:Okay. These final few question, are very general, just little

things that I forgot. What was the period time that you

were under, with ?

I:A year and a half.

P:From when to when.

I:From 1942, the end of 1942 to the end of forty three. A year,

maybe fourteenth months. But the backed out, where

we were working for the arrived and he

took over.

P:If you were twenty years younger, what would you want to do?

I:If I were twenty years younger, I would travel nationwide.

From state to state, from county to county and I would try

to educate the young generation of what kind of catastrophe

happened and to try to convince them that they should be

careful that it does not happen again in the future.

P:You said you had a sister who lives in Israel.

I:Yes, she was in 1940. The KGB arrested her with the

two children, because a week before they arrested her

husband and he died in in the force. They arrested

her with two children, they took her away to Siberia and she

was in Siberia for three and a half years. Later she joined

the Polish army and the two children went with General

Anders with the army to Palestine at this time and the two

children are alive, the daughter is in Houston today and the

son is in New York and she is in Israel. She is eighty five

years old. She was fighting in Israeli army, hoping to

liberate Israel and now she is eighty five years old. She

does not want to move any place.

P:You also testified in 1991 against


P:He was extradited from Argentina.

I:Yes, Argentina.

P:Some years earlier.


P:And he was convicted in 1991.

I:With life in prison, yes.

P:Where did you testify?

I:I testified in New York. I was supposed to testify in Miami

and I was threatened a few days before, that if I ever go to

Miami they will kill me. I backed out and I was talking to

the German Embassador of Miami and I told him I will testify

on only one condition, you should not publish in the paper

and you will find me a place. Should be strictly

confidential and I will testify. They assigned me to New

York City. Anyhow, when I arrived in New York City,

demonstrations from Nazis were over there, before I went

into the embassy.

P:Against the Nazis?


P:Not for the Nazis?

I:No. For the Nazis.

P:Pro Nazis.

I:That is right.

P:So, you had to walk through the demonstration.

I:That is right. I went through the demonstration and then I had

not testified at the embassy, I testified a floor higher,

the embassy was afraid to testify, they should do something.

They locked us up in a room on the seventeenth floor and

the whole German court was there. The attorneys.

P: was not there?


P:But his attorneys were there.

I:Two attorneys.

P:His attorneys.


P:Did they question you?

I:Yes. One attorney was reasonable, one attorney was a former

Gestapo man, because I saw in his face and the questions

that he was giving me and I told him, I do not want to

answer them, I will answer them through the embassador.

Later we shook hands on t.v. and he went away.

P:You do not know if he was a Gestapo.

I:It was on his face and the questions that he was giving me, it

was a typical Gestapo and I was living years with them, I


P:What was your testimony?

I:My testimony was that I saw how many people he killed


P:How many people do you think he killed?

I:At least two hundred, at least. He admitted himself, that he

killed seventy-five in Argentina.

P:He admitted.

I:Yes. Here, he denied. He told the court that he was doing

this under the pressure in Argentina.

P:Okay. He told the German court that he admitted that on the

press release.


P:That he admitted killing how many?


P:What was his sentence ultimately?

I:Life in prison. But see the law in Germany, you do not have

that penalty.

P:Do you think there should be that penalty?

I: but first of all, I would take him out and put him in

a cage and I will take him all over the world to show them

who he is. This will be a punishment, to kill him is not

punishment either, five minutes and that is all.

P:Okay, anything else.

I:No, that is all.

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